Ride Saturday 11/30: Enzan to Chichibu

sean-e

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2019
222
512
113
大田区
Start: 8AM , Enzan Station
End: Seibu-Chichibu Station - hopefully right around dusk, but bring lights in case.
Pace: medium spicy - note, not many bail out points

Weather's looking sunny this weekend, so why not head out into the mountains? RideWithGPS probably overestimating elevation again but a fair number of mountains involved - one big climb at the beginning, then some up and down peaks, and finally mostly downhill after the 100km point. Should be all paved. Getting colder on the descents.

Post or PM if interested.

 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,725
1,600
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
Just adding up the 8 separate climbs (bottom to top) gives 3800 m of elevation gain, if my mental calculation was correct. That and lots of peaks in the 1400-1700 m range, which will be chilly in November. You're talking 9-10 C colder than at sea level.
 

thooms

Maximum Pace
Jul 6, 2019
141
216
63
32
I'll make sure I'm good on Friday night (a colleague's leaving party) - this looks like a proper epic :)

See you bright'n'early at Enzan!
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,725
1,600
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
About 60% of this ride will be at 1000 m or above. It would make a great escape from summer heat ;)

I'm not trying to discourage you, but if you want to do it on the last day of November, you better be dressed for it and ice on the roads would not be good.

Also, the expected temperature drop is greater than what I told you, I had confused my dry air and moist air figures for temperature drop. It's 1 deg C per 100 m elevation gain in dry air vs. 0.6 deg C in moist conditions (with condensing humidity such as rain, snow, fog).
 

Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
593
666
113
64
Start: 8AM , Enzan Station
End: Seibu-Chichibu Station - hopefully right around dusk, but bring lights in case.
Pace: medium spicy - note, not many bail out points

Weather's looking sunny this weekend, so why not head out into the mountains? RideWithGPS probably overestimating elevation again but a fair number of mountains involved - one big climb at the beginning, then some up and down peaks, and finally mostly downhill after the 100km point. Should be all paved. Getting colder on the descents.

Post or PM if interested.

Looks like an amazing ride! Have a great time. I haven't got a hope of climbing that much, especially with you mountain goats. Look forward to reading the report.
 

thooms

Maximum Pace
Jul 6, 2019
141
216
63
32
About 60% of this ride will be at 1000 m or above. It would make a great escape from summer heat ;)

I'm not trying to discourage you, but if you want to do it on the last day of November, you better be dressed for it and ice on the roads would not be good.

Also, the expected temperature drop is greater than what I told you, I had confused my dry air and moist air figures for temperature drop. It's 1 deg C per 100 m elevation gain in dry air vs. 0.6 deg C in moist conditions (with condensing humidity such as rain, snow, fog).
Thanks for the advice Joe, I appreciate the advice from such an experienced rider as yourself :)

Will definitely take care out there.
 
Last edited:

OPPL200

Speeding Up
Aug 15, 2019
51
88
28
39
It does look amazing!

However, to avoid such a difficult ride, I am hiring a motorbike and riding out to Lake Okutama with a colleague. Weather looks perfect for both forms of two wheels, albeit a bit chilly. Have a great time and look forward to the pics :)
 

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
1,230
954
133
Tokyo
I had a dream about this ride last night. You guys ditched me at our first stop for some reason and then I got a puncture. For some reason (I guess it was cold), I had to fix the puncture under the covers of my parents bed before returning to the side of the road. I decided to turn around when it started to snow. You guys went on. When I asked how the ride went the next day, it turned out that you had got stuck in Aomori (how the hell you got there I don't know), and had to take the shinkansen home. I forgot to take photos. I don't think I'll join you.
 

Gok

Maximum Pace
Dec 22, 2016
204
308
93
Probably thawing himself in the microwave.

Even good old warm Chiba had day time temps around 7 degC. Can't imagine being at 2,000 m elevation today. Hope everyone's safe.
 

thooms

Maximum Pace
Jul 6, 2019
141
216
63
32
Thanks for the concern chaps - yes, we are all safe! It was quite eventful, but nobody got hurt (apart from my rear tyre :p)

Will add a report and some photos tomorrow. It was definitely an adventure!
 

sean-e

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2019
222
512
113
大田区
Bit of a departure from the original plan after the 95km point, but we made it back. Turns out the route posted does indeed cover the Crystal Line ridge. Some light snow and occasional ice on the edge of the road above 1000m, but the first 50km was fairly clear of debris, albeit bumpy in parts.
IMG_1791.jpg

A brief hiking diversion in search of Fuji views from the first ridge. Warning to the velotilers that @thooms may be joining the competition ;)

IMG_1792.jpg

Lot of temperature fluctuations going over the individual peaks. When climbing in the sun, could get away with short sleeves and no gloves. But when descending in the shadow of the mountains, it was getting below freezing according to the bike computer.

IMG_1796.jpg
Views of the Kita-Yatsugatake range in Nagano:
IMG_1800.jpg


Descents continued to get sketchier as the day went on, @joewein was correct about the risk of ice in some areas - had to take it a bit slow to avoid surprises around the corners, like this one:
IMG_1798.jpg

We were making reasonable time on the ascents but ultimately were defeated by the descent between kilometers 89 and 94 on the original route - would not recommend this section! It wasn't officially blocked to cars (not that such a sign would stop me :) ), but the entire road was covered with pine needles and debris without sign of anyone having been there. Later, we discovered why - impassible to cars due to landslide. We tried to forge across the ravine, but it was too gnarly, so we ended up backtracking and climbing down the mountain between switchbacks to get by it.

IMG_1812.jpg
Shortly after this point, @thooms 's rear tire got some significant cuts from the debris and pinch flatted. Booting the tire in 0C was not ideal, but we got it done with some 1000yen notes, although more hiking was required to get down. After reaching the main road again, we were 95 kilometers in on the original route with 3400 meters total elevation up and only 1 more peak to get over. But as it was 4:30 at this point and not wanting to risk the tire failing in the dark, we decided to go west to the nearest local train stop at Koumi and call it a day.
IMG_1814.jpg

Long train ride back, but it was a fun ride, though not as wild as @wexford 's dream sequence :p
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
755
727
113
Yokohama
Quite the adventure. Glad you got back safe and sound. Looks like a good route for when temps are higher and days are longer.

@thooms Welcome to the craziness that is tiling.👏
 
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Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,027
2,406
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
That's prime adventuring, guys. I'm envious.
Booting the tire in 0C was not ideal
Yeah - I wouldn't be able to do that. Once my fingers get cold, the tips completely lose strength and dexterity.

Great job. I thought I was the mad one, but it seems the crown is being passed around.
 
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Gok

Maximum Pace
Dec 22, 2016
204
308
93
That's prime adventuring, guys. I'm envious.

Yeah - I wouldn't be able to do that. Once my fingers get cold, the tips completely lose strength and dexterity.

Great job. I thought I was the mad one, but it seems the crown is being passed around.
Not unless someone throws their bike in the river (sorry; love that story)..
 
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